09/06/07 — Storm system could bring rain to parched state

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Storm system could bring rain to parched state

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on September 6, 2007 1:45 PM

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Raleigh say Wayne County and the rest of eastern North Carolina could get some relief from drought this weekend if a tropical weather system reaches the state.

Only scattered showers have hit Wayne over the past few weeks. All of North Carolina has been declared to be under drought conditions by Gov. Mike Easley and many municipalities have imposed restrictions on water use.

But a storm system several hundred miles off the coast is currently making its way eastward and carrying with it the hope of rain. Predictions call for it to hit the Atlantic Seaboard but no one knows exactly where.

"There is an awful lot of uncertainty still," meteorologist Mike Moneypenny of the National Weather Service in Raleigh said today.

He and others at the weather service are keeping a close eye on the system and Moneypenny said they are expecting it to develop into a bigger storm.

He said he foresees the southern coast of North Carolina to get hit with at least some rain Saturday morning.

"There is a very good chance of showers eastward of I-95 into Sunday," he said.

He added that Wayne County will most likely see rain Saturday night through Sunday.

Moneypenny said that currently there is "at least a 50 percent chance of showers" for Saturday.

How much rain is the question on the minds of county residents. But they should not count on the rain just yet, Moneypenny said. The storm may not reach the state at all, he added.

High pressure is building over the system right now, he said, and that could steer the storm to the northwest.

But the pressure is expected to push out toward the ocean and become weak, pulling the storm closer to land.

At that point, the forecasters will know more definitive weather patterns.

"If the storm gets here, it looks like it will kick off over to the northeast," Moneypenny said. "But we are still watching it develop."